At least, this week it is.
We've spent a fair amount of time on this blog discussing gender issues, but far be it from me to stop flogging a dead horse. Here's what happened.
My new car needed to be taken in for servicing and a few minor tweaks. My husband graciously offered to run this errand since I was swamped. So he drove to the dealership, and they offered him a choice of two vehicles. One was basically the same car we bought: a wagon, which is used to shuttle kids in car seats, dogs, groceries, the odd dragon costume, etc around town.
As he was leaving, the salesman said, "Oh, and we have another one you could take. There it is, over there."
This, my friends, is the car that the dealer offered my husband:
I'll let you guess which one he chose. The practical car, which could easily handle everything we throw at it for a week? Or the two-seater with terrible gas mileage and worse crash records, which by the way happens to be a standard?
For anyone wondering just how bad things have gotten for the auto industry, there's your answer. You hand them a wagon, they give you the keys to a Porsche Cayman. That can't be good.
And here's the real kicker: I don't know how to drive a stick shift. Never had the chance to learn, since all of my cars have been practical, work horse automatics.
Did I mention that this was to be my car for the week? My husband uses a motorcycle to get around the city, and keeps a ridiculously large Dodge 3500 truck in storage for his job towing boats around the state. Driving a truck the size of a small house around San Francisco is not my favorite activity, which is why we agreed to a loaner car in the first place. Seriously, to parallel park that thing requires a full ground crew, complete with waving flashlights and orange cones.
Don't get me wrong, I love a sporty car as much as the next person. And I'm not unsympathetic. I understand that, as my husband describes it, "I wasn't thinking. My eyes just glazed over. Never in my life has someone handed me the keys to a Porsche and said, 'Have fun with it.'"
Sure, I get it. But under the same circumstances, I can pretty much guarantee that I would have held the keys longingly for a moment, before sighing and handing them back as I said, in a voice laden with regret, "I'm afraid we'll have to take the wagon. Our toddler has trouble holding on to the roof at high speeds."
So there you are: gender differences. What leapt to my mind was the infamous scene in "As Good As It Gets," where misogynistic romance writer Melvin Udall (as played by Jack Nicholson) is asked (by a woman), "How do you write women so well?"
And he replied, "I think of a man, and then I take away reason and accountability."
Reason and accountability, eh? Hmm. To every woman who cringed at that line, I offer you this: my husband, handing me the keys to a Porsche, our (temporary) new family car. Without even blinking.